OceanSide church of Christ
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THINGS CHRISTIANS MUST STAND AGAINST (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Christians are involved in spiritual warfare every day of our lives.
B. In warfare, the soldier must be able to “stand against” the enemy (Eph. 6:11).
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
C. This is not always easy to do.
1. The enemy is strong and we feel weak.
2. The enemy is relentless and we need a break.
3. We are often alone on the field of battle.
4. The enemy exploits our doubts.
5. The enemy battles on all fronts and our knowledge and skills are very limited.
D. Even though all of the things just mentioned may be true, we still must stand (Eph. 6:13).
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
E. At this point in our history, there are several things that Christians must stand against.
I. WE MUST STAND AGAINST DISRESPECT OF AUTHORITY
A. Authority involves those who are in positions or leadership, power, and control.
1. Husbands and fathers in the home
2. Christ as the head of the church
3. Elders as the authority within the local congregation
4. Principals and teachers in schools
5. Owners and managers of businesses
6. Commanders within the military
7. Civil authorities such as police, legislators, councilmen, congressmen, and presidents
8. Others: coaches, babysitters, camp directors, employees at businesses, deacons, heads of programs and projects, etc.
B. The Bible teaches us to respect those in positions of authority.
1. Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
2. Leviticus 19:32
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man…
3. Proverbs 24:21
My son, fear thou the Lord and the king…
4. I Thessalonians 5:12-13
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake…
5. I Timothy 6:1
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
6. I Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
C. We live in a society that completely disrespects authority.
1. Children smart off and disobey their parents.
2. Young people stand in bold opposition to the rules and instructions of teachers.
3. Terms of respect are no longer employed in society.
4. People in high positions of authority are called by their first names instead of honored by their titles.
5. Police are called names, spit on, attacked with bricks and bottles, water is poured on them, and some have been injured and others killed.
6. Duly elected officials are said not to be the leaders of some.
7. Members of churches do whatever they please regardless of the decisions of the elders.
D. Members of the church must stand against disrespect for authority.
1. We must teach the principles of respect.
2. We must be the ones who rebuke those who show disrespect.
3. We must be the ones whose lives manifest a respect for authority.
E. NOTE: There is NO EXCUSE for one to disrespect a person in authority.
1. Some say: “Respect must be earned.” That is wrong.
2. Respect is commanded. Too, respect is something that is given regardless.
II. WE MUST STAND AGAINST LAWLESSNESS
A. God is a God of order (I Cor. 14:40).
Let all things be done decently and in order.
B. Decency and order are established by laws
1. Rules in a classroom
a. Please raise your hand to speak.
b. Only one at a time is permitted to speak.
c. There is to be no yelling or screaming.
d. Cursing and name-calling are not allowed.
e. Speak in words that others can understand.
2. QUESTION: What happens when simple rules like these are not followed?
a. Chaos and confusion
c. Screaming and yelling
d. Domination by some
e. No participation by others
C. These principles hold true in all areas of life.
1. Laws provide decency and order
2. A violation of laws brings chaos and confusion.
D. Every day we watch the news and see individuals showing disdain for the law and transgressing against it.
1. Violation of curfews
2. Robbery and theft
3. Defacing and destroying public property
4. Obstructing the flow of traffic on public roads
6. Assault and battery
7. Resisting arrest
E. The lawless stand condemned in the sight of God (Matt. 7:23).
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
a. Greek: anomia (a – no and nomos – law), thus, no law or without law
b. Strong: illegality, that is, violation of law
c. Thayer: the condition of without law, contempt and violation of law
2. To those who practice lawlessness, Jesus says: “I never knew you: depart from me.” a. The lawless and not known by the Christ. In other words, they are not His.
b. The lawless are separated from the Christ. That separation is eternal.
F. As Christians, we must stand against lawlessness.
1. First, we must abide by the law.
2. Second, we must condemn those who violate the law.
3. Third, if the laws of the land are not fair, we need to go through the proper channels to change them.
4. Fourth, the only time we are free to violate man’s law is when it conflicts with the laws of God.
III. WE MUST STAND AGAINST PREJUDICE AND RACISM
1. Prejudice: “prejudging” another individual or group of individuals without knowledge, thought or reason.
a. All black men in hoodies walking on a city street at night are up to no good.
b. All men and women in a police uniform are power-hungry and are out to hurt individuals who are part of a minority.
c. All southern people are poor and ignorant.
d. All northerners are loud and arrogant
a. The elevation of one race over another in terms of importance, opportunities, and benefits
b. The domination of one race by another because of a feeling of superiority
B. Verses that disapprove of prejudice and racism:
1. Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should to do you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
2. John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
3. James 2:8-9
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
C. In our nation,
1. There are some who see systemic racism being practiced (police departments, corporations, school systems, various parts of the government).
2. There definitely individual members of society who are prejudiced and racist.
a. White supremists
c. Those who frown upon and hate Latinos
d. Some in a group disfavor those of their own group (e.g., Cubans)
e. Many in our nation dislike Christians
f. Some despise all Muslims
g. Northerners do not like southerners and Southerners do not like Northerners
h. Other groups that people are prejudiced against: elderly, over weight, Millennials, homeless
D. Christians should be on the forefront against prejudice and racism.
1. We know God created all men in His image (James 3:9).
2. We know the color is only skin deep (II Cor. 5:1).
3. We realize that it is the heart of man that is important (I Sam. 16:7).
4. We understand that God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11)
5. We are keenly aware that “in Christ” all differences melt away (Gal. 3:28-29).
6. The church should be the one group on earth with the most diversity and the greatest unity and deepest love.
A. We have addressed three things that Christians must stand against in our present age: disrespect of authority, lawlessness, and prejudice/racism.
B. It is easy to be mindful of these matters. It is easy to say the right thing about these evils.
C. It is another thing to actively stand against them.
1. It takes commitment to the Word of God.
2. It takes courage to confront the evil doers.
3. It takes strength to stay on the battlefield a long time.
4. It takes an unwavering faith because Satan wants us to back away from these things.
5. It takes zeal in soul-winning because in conversion hearts are changed.